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Walmart To Stop Carrying Some Ammunition, Ban Open Carry In Stores

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Walmart To Stop Carrying Some Ammunition, Ban Open Carry In Stores

Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) said Tuesday it will stop selling certain types of ammunition sometimes used in assault rifles and will prohibit shoppers from openly carrying guns in its stores.

CEO Doug McMillon announced the changes in an email to employees, saying the policy shift came after discussion that followed the shooting in a Walmart store last month in El Paso, Texas that left 22 people dead.

The company will also end the sale of ammunition for handguns. It will also stop selling handguns in its stores in Alaska, the last state where it carries them.

McMillon said that after discussion of how to best respond to the El Paso store, and another incident a few days earlier in which a former employee killed two workers at a Mississippi Walmart, company officials realized they could do more to make the country safer.

Decision Will 'Inconvenience Some'

"After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons," McMillon said in the memo, which was sent to several news outlets.

"We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand," McMillon said.

"As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same."

McMillon said the decision to ban the open carrying of firearms in its stores follows a spate of incidents in which shoppers carrying guns caused store evacuations. McMillon said they occurred because of people “attempting to make a statement and test our response.”

The policy is effective immediately.

"These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam's Clubs in states where 'open carry' is permitted — unless they are authorized law enforcement officers,” McDillon wrote.

Walmart currently has about 20% of the ammunition market in the United States, but that is expected to drop to near 6% in the wake of the new policy. Walmart recently said about 2% of firearm sales in the United States are made at its stores.

McMillon noted that Walmart previously had decided to stop selling AR-15 military-style rifles, to raise the firemarm purchase age in its stores to 21 and make other changes to its firearms sales policies, including videotaping sales.

Walmart Stock Up

Walmart shares were trading higher by 0.35% at $114.61 at the time of publication.

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Public domain photo via Wikimedia

Posted-In: Doug McMillonNews Best of Benzinga

 

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